With Backs Against the Wall, These Hawks Respond

Friday, May 11, 2012
By Jon Newberry

It has been a theme all season long for the Hawks. People have been counting them out, and they have risen to the challenge.

Before the season even started, many analysts said that this group of Hawks had “topped out” and that they would be a borderline playoff team. Atlanta responded by starting 11-4, battling through a stretch of nine games in 12 days to start the season.

Al Horford tore his pectoral muscle on January 11, and the skeptics said the season would be lost. The Hawks won their next four games and maintained their position in the playoff hunt.

Joe Johnson joined Al on the injury report midway through the season and many thought that the Hawks had no chance without BOTH All-Stars. J-Smoove and the gang stunned the OKC Thunder at the Highlight Factory and emphatically stated “We will not surrender.”

And that brings us to the present. After a dismal Game 4, many analysts were spendind more time looking at Boston’s second round match-up with Chicago/Philly. The Hawks didn’t help themselves early, falling behind 9-2 and prompting ESPN analyst John Hollinger to tweet “Start the bus folks.”

Hollinger has followed the Hawks all season long, so he should know better. Don’t count these Hawks out until the buzzer sounds.

Game 6 tonight is just another test for Atlanta. Their backs are still firmly against the wall. Lose, and the season is over. Win, and you can expect an electric crowd back at the Highlight Factory on Saturday night.

Here’s to hoping for the latter.